Florida Fauna & Flora – Ocala National Forest

Florida Fauna & Flora – Ocala National Forest

The Ocala National Forest is located in SECO Energy’s backyard. This national landmark was established in 1909 and is the southernmost forest in the United States. In the forest’s beautiful 383,000 acres, you’ll find over 600 lakes, rivers and streams, as well as trails, animals, recreation areas and outdoor activities.


According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the core of the Ocala National Forest is the Big Scrub that was first placed under protection by President Theodore Roosevelt, making it the first National Forest east of the Mississippi River. Most of the forest is in Marion County, with smaller portions found in Lake and Putnam Counties. The Florida Trail is a 1,300-mile United States National Scenic Trail that travels through the Ocala National Forest.


When visiting the Ocala National Forest, look for various wildlife, including alligators, coyotes, white-tailed deer, wild boar and small animals such as squirrels, gopher tortoises, bats, river otters, bobcats and more. Within the forest boundaries, you’ll also find the highest concentration of wild Florida black bears.


Fun Flora Fact: The 1946 movie The Yearling starring Gregory Peck and Jane Wyman based on Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ novel of the same name was filmed in the Ocala National Forest.


Read the full December 2020 SECO News online.

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